Mouthguards are devices used to protect your teeth from grinding or clenching while you sleep or from injuries while you play sports. They can also help to reduce snoring and relieve obstructive sleep apnea.
However, not all mouthguards are the same. There are three main types, depending on your needs. Keep reading to learn about the different types, including which ones are best for certain situations.
Types of mouthguards
A stock mouthguard is the most widely available and affordable type of mouthguard. You can find them at most sporting goods stores and drug stores.
They usually come in small, medium, and large sizes and fit over your teeth. Most stock mouthguards only cover your top teeth.
While stock mouthguards are easy to find and inexpensive, they do have some downsides. Due to their limited size options, they’re usually uncomfortable and don’t provide a tight fit. This can also make it hard to talk while wearing one.
Similar to stock mouthguards, boil-and-bite mouthguards are sold in most drugstores and are relatively inexpensive.
Instead of coming in a few sizes, boil-and-bite mouthguards come in one size that you can customize to fit your teeth. This involves boiling the mouthguard until it softens and then placing it over your front teeth and biting down.
To get the best fit, make sure you follow the instructions that come with it.
You can also get a mouthguard custom-made by your dentist. They’ll take a mold of your teeth and use it to create a mouthguard specifically for the structure of your teeth and mouth.
This provides a much better fit than either a stock or boil-and-bite mouthguard does, which makes them more comfortable and harder to accidentally dislodge while you’re sleeping.
If you grind your teeth, snore, or have sleep apnea, a custom-made mouthguard is your best option. While they’re more expensive than over-the-counter mouthguards, many dental insurance plans cover some or all of the cost.